The perfect petals

It needed to have the perfect petals; not too thick and leathery, yet not tissue-thin. The scent had to be powerful enough to be steam distilled. The plants must be bred under the natural constraints of the field, and then must make it through the next winter as well as be regrown from seed to test for staying power. It takes five years to know if the flower will produce enough oil and resist disease and pests. Kurkdjian and Ducher, whose main tool is a slender sable-tipped paintbrush to spread the pollen of one plant onto the stamen of another, have spent dozens of near-dawn mornings sniffing madly, eyes shut beatifically.

— Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian and rose breeder Fabien Ducher work to create a new perfume rose. Read more in Francis Kurkdjian and Fabien Ducher, Changing History in a Bottle at the New York Times. (found via @sniffapalooza at Twitter)

Shop for perfume

FragranceNetParfums Raffy

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil & Lush Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask ~ scented body product reviews

It’s that time of year when I can no longer deny the discomfort of late-summer heat and humidity, and my wardrobe is temporarily pared down to my very lightest dresses and a pair of sandals. Similarly, I can only tolerate my freshest and lightest fragrance standbys, like Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau, Clarins Eau des Jardins and Lostmarc’h Iroaz. If the weather is truly oppressive, I may even just reach for a scented body product and skip perfume altogether.


Fragranced body oils always feel luxurious, and REN’s Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil satisfies my need to wear something scented, even on the sultriest days….

Read the rest of this article »

Terry de Gunzburg Rose Infernale & Rouge Nocturne ~ fragrance reviews


Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I’m about to trespass. Excuse me as I creep into the rose (perfume) garden where NST’s Jessica resides. Though I know she’ll greet me kindly if she spies me…I feel guilty! (I’ve certainly not sampled the same number of rose perfumes she has!) Today, I’m reviewing my first perfumes from Terry de Gunzburg: Rose Infernale and Rouge Nocturne; both rose-centered perfumes were developed by perfumer Michel Almairac and they were released last year…

Read the rest of this article »

Tocca Isabel ~ fragrance review

Park Güell, Barcelona

Isabel is the latest in Tocca‘s collection of feminine-named fragrances, and its scent-personality is described this way: “A chic city girl from Barcelona, Isabel is an unconventional yet remarkable beauty. Like her hometown, she is eclectic, unpredictable and captivating.” Isabel includes top notes of bergamot, Mediterranean orange, pear and sangria accord; middle notes of Spanish rose, leather, vetiver and Turkish rose petals; and base notes of guaiacwood, amber and vanilla.

I’ve tried a fair number of Tocca’s perfumes, and they tend to fall into two categories for me: ones that I like and then can’t remember much about later, and ones that are complete scrubbers for me…

Read the rest of this article »